6 Sports that Burn the Most Calories

Exercise is a main reason why many people choose to play a sport. There are also various other reasons, but what’s better than exercising while doing something you love?  While most athletes will vigorously argue that their sport is a better workout, science can now settle the argument.

Lovers of water rejoice. Sports played on a form of H2O (ice, snow, and water) hold three of the six spots in our rankings. Sports played on grass, on the hardwood and in the ring round out the final three spots with one sport each.

The number of calories burned in each sport varies based on how fast or hard a person is working. At a competitive rate of play, a person playing ice hockey will burn about 30 more calories per 10 minutes as opposed to a person playing leisurely. All calories counts in the rankings are based on a 180-pound person.

Enough with the science; here are the rankings:


6. Basketball (650 Calories per hour)


Ball is life. Basketball is a great way to burn calories and a great way to soak up the sun during the summer. The combinations of running, jumping, and quick lateral movements do wonders for your body. A competitive game of basketball, either organized or pick-up, burns about 650 calories per hour. Even just shooting around in your driveway (with that hoop you haven’t used in 6 years) can burn up to 350 calories per hour. Basketball has been proven to be one of the most effective ways to lose weight.


5. Ice Hockey/ Ice Skating (660 calories per hour)

Our first “water” sport takes place on ice. Ice hockey is an expensive yet rewarding sport. While top of the line skates alone can cost nearly $1,000, you can find cheaper equipment at your local rinks pro shop. Once you get the necessary equipment and learn the basics of skating, you’re on your way to burning over 660 calories per hour. Hockey equipment (and equipment in general) can quickly contract nasty germs from sweat and being stored improperly in the locker room, your trunk, or garage. Use Clear Gear Sports Spray to disinfect your equipment between uses and keep you performing at your top calorie-burning speed.

If hockey isn’t for you, an hour of vigorous ice-skating can burn up to 735 calories.


4. Football (735 calories per hour)

Football is a sport that has been under the microscope in recent years due to injuries. New changes starting at the lowest levels of football have promoted a safer way to play. In addition to the safer ways, players also burn an average of 735 calories per hour while on the field. Although there are not many contact football leagues for adults, adults can form their own flag football teams and leagues in order to challenge for The Flag Football National Championship while burning 650 calories per hour with their teammates.


3. Swimming (899 calories per hour)

Swimming is a grueling workout that works the majority of muscle groups in your body. The amount of calories burned while swimming varies based on the speed and type of stroke that a person performs. A slow, freestyle stroke burns about 570 calories per hour while a faster butterfly stroke burns 900 calories per hour.


2. Boxing (981 calories per hour)

Boxing is an amazing workout for all athletes. Boxing combines speed, strength and endurance while you push your body to new extremes. A boxer during a boxing match burns about 981 calories, while sparring with another boxer can burn up to 735 calories per hour.

1. Skiing (1348 calories per hour)

Our top spot belongs to skiing. Skiing is the king of all winter sports. Like swimming, skiing is also a sport that works an athlete’s full body. An average skier burns 654 calories per hour, but the real calorie burn comes from cross-country skiing. A person that performs an uphill cross-country ski race will burn an enormous 1348 calories per hour. Skiing provides the ultimate sports-based workout.